49-51 Merc, is this for me? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 03-16-2003, 02:38 PM
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Post 49-51 Merc, is this for me?

First off let me say, I've never done anything like this before, so please mind my dumb questions...

Im looking for a new project now that I finished my MGB. I restored the MG, but pretty much to stock with the exception of chrome bumper converstion, so I have never done any true body customizing. (I have jeep suspension/drive train experience)

Im hoping to build a lead sled out of a 49-51 Merc Coupe. Chopped, Channeled and Slammed. Id also like to convert to disc brakes, add in A/C, etc... the whole deal. If possible Id like to do this with parts from the pick and pull.

My plan would be to find a car in restorable condition. I might consider an engine swap to a more common engine like a Chevy 350 so Im not concerned with running condition. (do you folks suggest different?) I would proceed to completely disassemble the car down to the bare chassis and work from there. First restore the frame. Then convert to disc. Then rebuild, paint the engine. Then move on to the body. Id imagine I'm best to get the body structuraly sound before I start cutting into it? I would then customize the body. Then rewire the car. Then I can add in A/C, etc... then interior.

Im still looking at what else id like to do with the car body, id imagine the usuall frenching of lights, etc...

Basicaly I want to know, am I getting in over my head? Is it possible to build a nice rod with some elbow grease and junk yard parts? (I realize you can't build a car entirely from junk yard parts)

Is this a good car to go with? How much am I looking at for a 49-51 merc? And where do I look (Im located in Ontario, Canada but I will travel...)

Any advice, suggestions, comments, answers would be great...

Im not looking for a show winning rod, I just want to learn, and have some fun doing so.

Thanks in advance, Mike

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Old 03-16-2003, 03:02 PM
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Your looking at $5-8k for a '49-'51 Merc. Its not going to be easy to go out and find one thats a junker and worth restoring. 4dr mercs and even Licolns of that vintage are still very cool and a bit easier to find. Our own Senor Limpio as two Lincolns of that vintage. One thats rather nice and another thats solid, but rough. You can see then in his photo album. They are the same car, just different front sheetmetal.

If your looking for something to learn on go with something a little less popular like a ford or chrystler or some other lat 40's early to mid '50 sled that more plentiful. Chebby's of those years are pretty plentiful ('49-52) and cool. There are at least 2-3 in the local paper every 3-4 months from 2-4drs.

HK
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Old 03-17-2003, 01:31 AM
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Those Old Lincoln's look like the Merc's too. Slightly different front end but plenty of room for a big Ford engine or not? When you find something post it so we can all see.


Todd


Rat Rods Rule!
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Old 03-17-2003, 05:17 AM
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Just my opinion as I teach school- when I see somebody with an idea and a plan I say 'Go For It!!" It will cost some $$$ to get started as HK says these cars are not plentiful and not cheap- but if it's what you want and you can find it go to it!!! People don't believe it but I built my Henry J for around $6000. as I did it ALL myself, scrounging junkyards and using stuff from swap meets- teaching myself as I went and talking to the pros. Wiring and sewing and painting get to be more comfortable when you realize what you save... Plan your mods on paper and research a LOT and talk to those who have done it before. You'll get an experience unlike anything you've had before, plus meet people you never would have met. Go to shows and find what you like and ask who built the car. You'll get some advice ( and some that don't do the work may just ignore you!!) But above all HAVE FUN!!!!! Good Luck!!
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Old 03-17-2003, 09:55 AM
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Im not set on the merc, it just seemed to be the most common of the led sleds. (which might make it harder to find good parts). I am looking for something similar style though. 2 doors or 4 doesn't matter. I actually like the idea of regular front and converting the rear to suicide. How much am I looking at for a late 40s/early 50s Chevy? Also any books websites you recomend... Ive been scouring the forums for some I might buy. Im only 19 so I missed out on the true Hot Rod age... but the only way to keep these things going is for the young people to get in to it. So I figure I should try my hand at it. Thanks for your help, Mike
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Old 03-17-2003, 10:22 AM
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Don't forget the old Hudsons of that era. They make great merc type sleds too.
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Old 03-17-2003, 12:43 PM
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40-51 Fords, 53-54 Chevy's, or any of that year era car make nice sleds. Remeber, imagination is a dangerous thing.
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Old 03-26-2003, 04:18 PM
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Heck yeah man! I'd go with the Merc/Lincoln plan! That is the classic lead sled!!! (in my opinion)

If you do decide to go with this plan, you will have a rough time finding a Merc, and you will pay HEAVY CA$H for one! But they are out there. I have seen 49-51 Mercs that were VERY ROUGH going for $5K. I lucked in to finding 2 50 Lincolns. So that is the route I am taking.

You might want to keep an eye out on ebay for them too, I found one on mine on there.
You can get lucky and find things like this...

<a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=6882&item=24057230 99&rd=1" target="_blank">Merc</a>

<a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=6306&item=24060977 83&rd=1" target="_blank">or this</a>

You can also keep an eye out here...

<a href="http://www.greaterdakotaclassics.com/forsale_listings/mercury.htm" target="_blank">Greater Dakota Classics</a>


If you did decide to take the Lincoln route, there is a company that sells fiberglass 49 Merc front end parts.

Rock on and good luck! Let us know what ya find!

-Seņor
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Old 03-28-2003, 08:49 AM
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The Hudson idea is not one to scoff at!
The 49-5? Hudsons have "factory"-chopped tops, i.e. short height windows, adn with additional body mods (grille change, etc.) can look really cool and are different from all the others...
They are also much cheaper and built very solidly.
Last year at the Spring Chickasha OK swapmeet I could have bought a running/driving 50 Hudson Hornet 4door with a latemodel Olds 350 V8 and trans for only $1750. It was priced at $3500 on Thursday--down to $1750 by Sunday. Now, it was just a stock, seedy interior, Ok paint stocker with drivetrain update but man...$1750???!!
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Old 05-23-2004, 08:33 PM
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Hey guys!

This is my first post on this board (although I always seem to end up here reading what others write) but I decided to finally join and add in.

I am 25 from Jersey (to get aquainted) and have a couple Mercs (a 50 and a 51) and can attest to those who say that they are untouchable in price. People are flat out crazy what they ask for the 4 drs and the 2 drs are worse, BUT they are out there if you look hard enough.

My best advice I can give is that you REALLY need to do your homework. Know the tricks and you will know the trade. My 50 is a 2 dr, chopped 5 1/2, shaved, nosed, decked, peaked, radiused, slammed, lowered taillites, frenched and tuck and roll gutted with a 53 flatty/3 spd overdrive, and as it sits I have a tad more than $7500 into it bumper to bumper. It can show with the big dogs, but (I cant agree more with the person above) I do all my own work (which is tedious but thrifty) and try to make connections with people everywhere I go. I once saw a guy at a cruise nite leaning on a garbage can totally disinterested in everything there but wearing a Led Sled T shirt...and after a little talking bought an original set of 57 Dodge Lancer caps for $75 he had in his trunk. Talk to everyone, worst that can happen is they just dont want to talk to you...but most rodders are cool and are willing to help fellow rodders. I will be the first to say that a good portion of Merc owners are jerks (especially to the younger crowd) but the ones who know thier stuff will impart unbelievable amounts of knowledge to you.

I read that you were interested in the suicide doors. The stock Merc 4 drs (my 51 is a 4 dr) have suicide doors factory, and you wouldnt believe how many people compliment my work on suiciding them...I get a kick out of it.

Think outside the box for drivetrain though. If I may, everyone runs a SBC in thier Merc. It is the best for economy of parts cost/$ per HP/and availability of parts, but perhaps give thought to a mid 60s Buick nailhead, a big inch Lincoln, or even a mid 50s Olds Rocket or Caddy mill. They are sure show stoppers. My 51 is eventually getting a 430 Lincoln and should catch an eye or two.

Look in the JC Whitney catalog also. You can get all the bolt on goodies there (lakes/spots/wolf whistles) but also 1 and 2 tone tuck and roll interior to do front/rear seats and door panels for around $400. My 55 Olds and 50 Merc went that route and I have no complaints as of yet.

Most of all be the guy who puts the time into it, puts the thought into it, but also be the guy who is on the road enjoying the Merc. I run my chop everyday rain or snow, and wouldnt have it any other way.

Im always down for helping a fellow rodder but also for getting people into Mercs, so drop me a line if ya want.

Great board guys, glad I finally joined
Chris from Jersey
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Old 05-23-2004, 11:45 PM
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I hate to advertise for anyplace on forums like this but try here. They have what your looking for. Just remember shipping runs the price up a bit. I can't imagine shipping/trailering a project car into Canada would be much trouble.

http://www.hotrodgarage.net/projectcarsforsale.html
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Old 05-24-2004, 02:51 PM
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Did you guys see the date on this topic? His car is probably finished by now, lol.
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Old 05-24-2004, 05:03 PM
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Never looked. Now I feal like a Homer. DOHHH
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